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Alabama Hires Buffalo's Nate Oats as basketball coach

Alabama Basketball Hires Buffalo’s Nate Oats To Be Their New Coach

Former Buffalo coach Nate Oats has been hired by Alabama to be the new face of their program, it was announced Wednesday. Oats has gone from coaching at a local high school to landing a big time position in the SEC.

The director of athletics at Alabama Greg Byrne wasted no time in making Oats feel at home, taking to social media to express Alabama’s excitement.

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Byrne says he was watching Oats for a while before they had decided to give him a call for the job. He says what impressed him was the way he develops that type of coach-player relationship and said it was evident in Buffalo’s play.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nate and Crystal Oats and their three daughters to the University of Alabama,” said Alabama AD Byrne said. “I have been watching Coach Oats for the last few years as he has led the University at Buffalo to unprecedented heights. His commitment to developing the student-athlete both on and off the court was what really stuck out.”

He later continued: “As we spoke to some of the best college and pro basketball minds in the country, his name came up time and time again. Coach Oats will hit the ground running starting tonight, and we look forward to him having a long and successful career with the Alabama Crimson Tide.”

Alabama basketball has been going through turbulent times, with last year’s star player Colin Sexton leaving after one season for the draft, which would mean the team no longer had a star. Alabama finished this season with a not so great record, finishing 18-16 barely staying above .500 overall, but when facing teams in their same conference they went 8-10.

Among rumors spreading about the team is that there are several players who are unhappy with the direction the program is going in. One other rumor spreading from the team is that players are unhappy with how much time they’re actually playing. This prompted reports that several players on the team were considering transferring.

Oats, who comes from a history of coaching at a local high school in Detroit, comes from a humble background. While coaching at Buffalo, Oates was able to take the team to heights they haven’t seen before. During the regular season, Oats led Buffalo to a record of 96-43 over four years.

In those four seasons, Oats led Buffalo to three NCAA Tournament appearances and two wins in the tournament over the past two seasons. Buffalo was also ranked in the AP Top 25 poll almost the entire 2018-19 season, which was the best in program history. This season, Oats had led Buffalo to a dominant 32-4 record but they would once again lose in the second round of the tournament to Texas Tech.

Oats’ name was a hot one on the rumor mill up until March 14, when he signed an extension at UB. That merely upped his buyout, which Alabama is more than happy to pay.

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Written by Elijah Fulton

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